Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has allocated portfolios to nine new ministers in his government, an official said here on Saturday. He however, has kept important portfolios like home, public works, tourism and education for himself.

Vidya Stokes, a known apple grower in the state, has got irrigation and public health, horticulture and science and technology, a government spokesperson told.

The spokesperson said a notification in this regard was carried out by the government Friday night. Kaul Singh, who was in the race for the Chief Minister, has been given health and family welfare, revenue and law and legal remembrance. The portfolios of transport, food and civil supplies, consumer affairs and technical education have been given to G.S. Bali.

Sujan Singh Pathania has got multi-purpose projects, power and non-conventional energy besides agriculture department, while Thakur Singh Bharmouri has been given forest and fisheries portfolios. Industry, labour and employment and parliamentary affair departments have been given to first-time cabinet minister Mukesh Agnihotri.

Journalist-turned-politician Agnihotri has also got department of information and public relations. Another first timer Sudhir Sharma has been given urban development, housing and town and country planning departments, while Parkash Chaudhary got excise and taxation and printing and stationery portfolios.

Two-time former Lok Sabha member and first-time legislator Dhani Ram Shandil has been made the social justice and empowerment and sainik welfare minister. Official sources said the cabinet still has two vacancies and these would be filled shortly.


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